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Teacher Compares School Year to 'Marathon;' Gives Tips on Training for the Race

baton between runners

Crystal Morey is a math teacher who understands how stressful a constantly changing education climate can be these days- especially with the implementation of Common Core, new digital technology, and various assessments.

She compares a new school year to a marathon, and has a list of tips for fellow educators and how to train to successfully finish the race.

Her first tip is to build a "base." This base should be comprised of supporters who are aware of the challenges you will face and will be able to support you throughout the obstacles—anticipated or not—that get in the way. This "base" is a professional learning community—your tight-knit group of peers you can bounce ideas off of as well as use as support when things get rough.

Next, she says it's imperative to pick a "running plan" to define goals and expectations for the school year.

"Review what current tasks, assessments, and instructional practices meet and do not meet that vision. When you decide to try something new, identify what you are letting go of. Keeping a balanced workload will help you avoid becoming overwhelmed," she said.

When preparing this running plan, she says, it's important to think quality over quantity, or in other words, not taking on too much at one time. When training for a big marathon, you wouldn't want to run too many miles each week because it would increase chance of injury. The same applies for preparing and getting into teaching the new school year.

She also recommends "cross-training," or integrating lesson plans with material from other subjects in order to provide comprehensive and complete learning material to students. As a math teacher, Morey says she tries to introduce English Language Arts into her math class to provide a consistent set of expectations and immerse students fully in their subjects. Finally, she tells her fellow peers that most of all, they must remember to rest.

"Take the summer to rejuvenate and reflect. As an educator you are a giver. Summer needs to provide you the mental space to begin again. For some people that means reading about new ideas to put into next year’s plan. Others will engage in math and increase their own mathematical competencies. Others will travel, bathe in the sun, or play with their kids. Whatever helps your heart and soul repair is what you need to do."

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/28/2015

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